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Lake El Salto, Lake Picachos, The Amazon and Crystal River: March 2024

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The 2023-2024 Mexico bass fishing season is two-thirds in the rearview mirror and the next four months are famous for hot fishing activity.  Amazon peacock’s 2024-2025 season is filling up and anglers are already looking at booking for the 2025-2026 season. The Anglers Inn Floating Suite in Crystal River was heavily booked in March with fishing, manatee watching and relaxation on the agenda.  

From our Amazon guests  

Lee Livesay joined Billy in Brazil a few weeks ago and enjoyed a phenomenal peacock bass fishing trip. On his return, Lee immediately jumped into his day job. A professional bass fisherman on the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society’s Elite tournament trail, Lee competed in the first Elite tournament for 2024 at Toledo Bend in east Texas. One week later Lee was competing at the next Elite event at Lake Fork in Texas.  

There was no rest for Lee as was one of 56 anglers to compete in the World Series of bass fishing, March’s Bassmasters Classic in Tulsa. Lee took a few minutes to tell us what he thought of Anglers Inn and the Amazon experience.

The 2024-2025 and 2025-2026 seasons are already being booked so call 1-800-GOTA-FISH (1-800-468-2347) and reserve your spot. This yacht is a 5-star hotel on the water with a full-time executive chef preparing the most delicious meals.   


Both Lake El Salto and Lake Picachos have reached that legendary status reserved for so few fishing destinations in the world. Largemouth bass, first stocked by Billy Chapman, have thrived and anglers can enjoy fabulous days on the water for big fish and big numbers. Favored baits have been black and blue 10-inch PowerWorm, watermelon Senko, deep cranks, chatterbait, shad swimbait and topwater.    

From our March Lake El Salto and Lake Picachos combination trip reports  

Brian Jackson and Paul Teagle taught fish at both lakes; they were the boss. The pair relied on 10-inch PowerWorms, chatterbaits and topwaters for their catches. “We loved our trip and plan to return many times,” said Brian. “The service is amazing.”

Felipe and Bruno returned to Anglers Inn all the way from Portugal to fish these fabled lakes. They were not disappointed. Said the guys, “We caught roughly 500 fish, mostly on green pumpkin Senkos, swimbaits and crankbaits. On the last day at El Salto, we caught 11 amazing 7-pound fish! Everything went perfectly, from organization to staff, the food and of course the fishing. Everyone remembered us from the previous trips and it was great having again both Felix and Gerardo as our guides at the lakes. They are the best!”

From our March Lake El Salto guests’ reports  

Repeat Anglers Inn guests Dave and Doris Curtis with Chester and Cecelia Williams had the time of their lives, again, at Lake El Salto. Said Dave, “Our best trip yet. The numbers were so good. We caught 35 fish from 6 to 10 pounds. The average size was the best I have seen in 6 years. So many 5-pounders, they seemed small after 2 days. They weren't small, and they fought so hard! On day 4, Doris caught a 9.5-pounder on her first cast. Five minutes later I had a 9.5, my biggest to date, then an 8.5. The last cast of the morning, Doris caught a 10.1, her personal best ever (and our biggest of the trip.” Favorite bait was a white swimbait.

Scott and Logan Whetstone caught fish on everything they tried with deep cranks doing most of their work. “We caught around three dozen bass in the 6-pound range with Logan landing an 8.1-pounder,” reported Scott. “Logan and I could not have had a better time and the staff, food and service were great.”

Richard Sawarsei and Gary Elrod took their sixth trip to Lake El Salto and already have their seventh planned. Watermelon/red Senkos, black/blue 10-inch PowerWorms and lizards were offered and the bass readily bit.

Kim Robertson hosted a group of eight anglers. Like so many others, they caught their fish on Senkos and PowerWorms.

Darrell McIvor, Todd Stubberfield and John Ohler had a great time fishing Lake El Salto and literally threw everything in their tackle box with outstanding success. “This was our first trip to El Salto. After waiting years to go we finally made it happen, said Darrell. ”We were not disappointed. The fishing was nothing short of amazing and the service, well let's just say it was over the top including every meal. These guys do everything right, if you love to fish you owe it to yourself to book a trip here. I will be back for sure, we literally caught 100's of fish.” Baits included watermelon/red Senkos, black and blue 10-inch Power Worms, white and chartreuse spinnerbaits, blue and green Berkley Dredger 20.5 and loaded Daingerous swimbait in shad color and white. Added Darrell, “On our second to last day we pulled up on a point that our guide (Geraldo) went to several times during our stay. This time was absolutely crazy, we caught doubles for probably 45 minutes straight and not one under 6 pounds. We probably boated 20+ of these in that 45 minutes. Myself and my friends have been fishing together for 30+ years and this was without a doubt the most amazing trip of all.”

Ken Jaycox found Anglers Inn via our website and booked their first trip for two. The pair caught plenty of fish on Senkos but the favored bait was a Rico popper. “Anglers Inn absolutely met and exceeded all expectations,” said Ken. “Already booked for next year, and cannot wait to get back. The service at the lodges is absolutely amazing!!”

Crystal River with Suite Life on the Water  

From Floating Suite guests Andy and Jodi Simone  

“When we booked our Crystal River trip with Anglers Inn, my wife Jodi did not realize we would be staying on a boat. She was a bit concerned until she saw that Billy Chapman had created luxury on the water. We enjoyed our stay so much that Jodi and I believe we may want to retire there. It was like Old Florida. We watched manatees with Explorida Tours, caught redfish which we ate for dinner and experienced great sunsets from the upper deck. We love the area and can’t wait to return.."

From Floating Suite guest Tina Davidson  

“We absolutely loved the boat and the Crystal River area. We are coming back! The guys had a great time fishing and even caught us a great supper. The huge lounge on the top deck was just heaven! Billy took great care of us and helped us with dinner the night we arrived as we were tired from our long drive. We are looking at planning a trip to Anglers Inn’s Lake El Salto with friends.

From Floating Suite guest Connie Pollitz  

“Such a wonderful stay at the Floating Suite! My wife and I took my daughter and two grandsons for four days to this amazing houseboat. We had two days of rain but it didn't stop us from doing everything we wanted. From fishing to kayaking to snorkeling to just relaxing on the boat watching TV or playing board games the rain never stopped us. Billy and his wife were very accommodating, making sure that he went over everything that we might need help with and even taking us on a tour of Crystal River. Our main goal for this trip was to see and maybe swim with the manatees. Again we were so happy to not only see them UP CLOSE, but swim right alongside them. Not being a fisherman I asked Billy if there were any good "fishing holes" around that my grandsons could fish a little. He offered his services to show the boys a beginner's course on the equipment, how to cast, what bait to use and what kind of fish were in this area. He did a great job teaching them and they loved it!”  

Scalloping in the Kings Bay area around Crystal River opens July 1 and Gag Grouper season opens September 1. It’s time to make reservations for these popular activities that produce scrumptious dining of fresh scallops and outstanding fishing. Call 1-800-GOTA-FISH to reserve the Anglers Inn Floating Suites.

The Anglers Inn Journal  

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Our sponsors  

Anglers Inn is proud to be associated with the following manufacturers: Abu Garcia,Berkley, Fishing Tackle Retailer, Huk, Humminbird, MinnKota, Mossy Oak Fishing, Old Town, Penn, Plano and St. Croix Rods.

Friday 5s on  

Don’t forget to check our Stories section of our News tab for our Friday 5s. These short narratives are a part of our social media program and readers can go to one location to see the entire inventory as the Friday 5s stories continue to grow in number and popularity. Friday 5s help our guests plan for their trips, guide them on packing needs and answer questions we typically receive. Friday 5s are featured in our social media posts every other Friday.    

Friday Flicks  

Our Friday Flicks presents new and archived short videos produced at our destinations. Check our social media for Friday Flicks every other Friday, taking turns with our Friday 5s.    

Social Media  

Make it your routine to check Facebook, Instagram and X (formerly known as Twitter) for updated posts on the happenings at the various Anglers Inn destinations and services. We typically post Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Every other Friday we feature our Friday 5s, top five things you need to know about a wide range of topics. On the following Friday, check out our Friday Flicks.